Tuesday, June 22, 2004

UN claims Colombian coca production reduced

Touting it as a great success in the war on some drugs, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime recently released a report stating coca cultivation had declined by 20% in Colombia. However, coca eradication experts meeting in Peru, disputed that claim calling the drop in cultivated acres misleading. They report traffickers are simply developing new and more potent and higher yield strains, while growers are moving to smaller and more remote tracts that are harder to detect and more hazardous to spray.

The Colombia government, aided by the US, did manage to successfully poison 116,000 hectares of land in the Amazon Rain Basin, while displacing thousands of indigenous peasants, ruining legitimate crops and sickening the few local residents who would not or could not leave. However, despite all the damage, the Andes still managed to produce three times more cocaine than the US market consumes.

The Incomprehensible Lie of the Week award though goes to drug czar John Walters, who said in a statement that the report shows ``when democracy, stability and security flourish in drug-producing nations, progress can be made against the narco-terrorists who threaten our way of life.''

Meanwhile, the OAS blamed the Colombian paramilitary group AUC for colluding with FARC in killing 34 peasants on a coca farm this week, while FARC vehemently denied the allegations claiming the peasants were actually members of AUC. Keep in mind that your tax dollars are partly funding this atrocity.

If Walters calls this stability, one wonders what in his mind constitutes chaos?


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